HealthZette

Put a Little Fat in Your Diet

In the ever-present battle of the bulge, remember the 'good fats'

When did the obesity epidemic truly take off in this country?

“It’s simple. Let’s look back — ever since the low-fat craze started and fat got replaced by sugars and carbs, that’s when we saw a huge increase in obesity and diabetes,” said New York City’s Tricia Williams, executive chef and founder of Food Matters NYC.

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We all need fat in our diet, Williams told LifeZette — but remember the good and bad fats. “My favorite go-to for good fats are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. There should be some fat with each meal and a snack that you eat.”

She may be onto something, along with so many others preaching right now in this space.

In an article published this week in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, physicians from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona said low-carb diets (LDCs) show an advantage over low-fat when it comes to weight loss.

The diets included in the article were Atkins, South Beach, and Paleo, and they stated they were safe for up to six months.

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“The best conclusion to draw is that adhering to a short-term, low-carb diet appears to be safe and may be associated with weight reduction,” Heather Fields, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and lead researcher on the study, said in a media release.

The bigger benefits of going low-carb may lie in improved blood sugar levels or better managed insulin resistance. The results have the team of physicians further recommending people to eat “real food.”

Incredible, isn’t it? A recommendation to eat real food.

Related: Eat a Little of This Every Day

The physicians encourage Americans to avoid or limit anything highly processed, especially meats such as bacon (avoid bacon?!), sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and ham. Yet a recent profile of centenarians and fast-food giants found that many of them ate these things. It was perhaps their healthy outlook on life that helped their longevity.

So what is best for you?

“As an osteopathic physician, I tell patients there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health,” Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne, D.O., an osteopathic family physician, said in a statement. “Factors like the patient’s genetics and personal history should be considered, along with the diet programs they’ve tried before and, most importantly, their ability to stick to them.”